There’s no question about it—the young voters this year have the power to influence who our next president will be. Regardless of what state these voters are in, it is important to have an overall understanding of their stance in this election.

With tonight being the eve of the huge debate, the Internet is being flooded by reminders of what to think about while tuning in to Lester Holt.

Paul Waldman, writing for the American Prospect, claims we should not be focused on who “wins” the debate tonight, but on contrasts between the two candidates. By honing in on what sets them apart, we can make better sense of what kind of policymaker they would be.

MJ Lee, writing for CNN, says tonight will reveal the presidential face for the candidates. The side of themselves they broadcast to Americans will represent how they will act as president. MJ also urges viewers to focus their attentions on Lester Holts questions, and issues of race.

Regardless of right winged or left winged opinions, we want to explore the minds of the millennial voter. We asked students studying Politics and Business at James Madison University, ranked #8 in regional universities South, a few questions to expand our knowledge of the youths of America.

Concerning tonight’s debate, what topics do you want Lester Holt to focus on?

“I want to hear about international affairs since the global dynamic is rapidly changing. I think there should be more focus on the policy each candidate brings to the table rather than the entertainment appeal and attacks at one another on a personal level.”

Megan Matthewson Media Arts and Design major, Political Communications minor.

“Definitely economics and jobs. When they become President we will be getting jobs and that impacts me.”

–Ellie Houghton International Business major.

“There are definitely a lot of hot button issues on my mind. I can’t wait to see how the moderators phrase the questions in addition to how each candidate has prepared to answer them, especially after all the controversy and the dynamic of the media landscape in the course of this election cycle. I strongly analyze one’s rhetoric and approach to any type of situation – which has left me to be slightly frustrated the past few months with both candidates.

Mainly though, I am eager to see how both Clinton and Trump respond to immigration questions. I especially want to hear an explanation from Clinton on her support of immigration reform that provides citizenship and undocumented immigrants to receive Obamacare. Further, I definitely cannot wait to their responses in regards to national security and domestic terrorism. In terms of trade, I want to see both Trump & Clint clarify their opposition to the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).”

Devon Wetter Communications advocacy major, Political communications minor.

“A focus on nationalism and immigration — right now I think it’s one of the most important topics to discuss due to the international political climate i.e. boarder control; accepting refugees or not.”

Angie Phrasavath Political science  major, Art history major.

 

If you could ask each candidate one question, what would it be?

“What does being American mean to you/ what makes America so ideal?”

Megan Matthewson Media Arts and Design major, Political Communications minor.

“ To Hillary Clinton—something in direct reference to her accountability in handling classified information of the government and her decisions subsequent to upholding that position. To Trump— a question, I definitely wouldn’t let him have it easy either! I would most likely ask him about his highly controversial policy idea with “stop and frisk” that I actually just learned about a few days ago.”

Devon Wetter Communications advocacy major, Political communications minor.

“What is your agenda regarding policies on abortion?”

Angie Phrasavath Political science  major, Art history major.

“If you could ask each candidate one question, what would it be? Honestly, I wouldn’t even want to talk to either candidate, thus far I don’t see anyone that is fit to run the Country. It has turned into a popularity contest and who can lie better.”

Jill DeCarli Political science major, Public policy and administration minor.

Within the election, what would you say are these candidates’ strengths or weaknesses?

“Hilary strength; established politician. She knows her way around the politics. Weakness: her experience doesn’t mean she’s good at it and she’s dishonest. Trumps strength; his ability to motivate unintelligent people. Weakness: he has little restraint and he says whatever he wants.”

–Ellie Houghton International Business major.

“Trump’s weaknesses are his temper, and racial undertones. Clinton’s weaknesses are her sketchy history regarding money and emails.”

Angie Phrasavath Political science  major, Art history major.

“Trump- His strong suit is not prescribing himself to political correctness. His weakness is his expressive nature. Hillary- Her weakness is that she is an outright liar, while her strong suit is her woman nature which gives her a certain level of appeal.”

Megan Matthewson Media Arts and Design major, Political Communications minor.

“I think a weakness for both candidates is rhetorical accountability. With strengths, I think Hillary Clinton is very moderate in some ways which I have much respect for, and I think she is also great at building electoral coalitions and gathering people together at pivotal moments in important battle ground states. I think Trump’s main strength is speaking to alienated voters, and he has also advocated on issues in a way a politician hasn’t really done before, especially with our new and social media.”

Devon Wetter Communications advocacy major, Political communications minor.

“I think each candidate is persuasive in their words, sometimes harsh and sometimes constructive. I think their tones and manners in this debate will tell more about their strengths and weaknesses.”

Jill DeCarli Political science major, Public policy and administration minor.

Who do you think the debate tonight will help more in the polls?

“I think the debate tonight is actually going to help Trump more in the polls, but I’m sure both will earn support.”

Devon Wetter Communications advocacy major, Political communications minor.

“ I expect it will help Trump’s ratings.”

Angie Phrasavath Political science  major, Art history major.

“ It can go either way, these debates really sway the polls. It is whoever can win over the people better. All americans want to see are their visions and how they will be two different futures in the country.”

Jill DeCarli Political science major, Public policy and administration minor.

As a young voter, is tonight’s debate important to you? Where would you say you go to receive information on the election?

“The debate is not as important to me because debates aren’t informative, it’s just entertainment. If you want the facts, citizens need to do their own research and really dig through each candidates’ history and background as well as understand the legislative process in order to truly grasp and evaluate a candidate’s impact if elected. I listen to the news to keep myself current on recent events to understand the context of the world, but use the Internet to research more and question statements or confusing policies or criticisms of each candidate. “

Megan Matthewson Media Arts and Design major, Political Communications minor.

“Yes it’s very important! I go to BBC for my news about politics.”

–Ellie Houghton International Business major.

“As a young voter, this election definitely holds a lot of importance for me. As I have been progressing through my studies in this exact realm of study mainly with political communications, I have closely observed this entire election cycle, in every stage, and I cannot wait to see the difference between these candidates on the stage now from last fall, especially regarding rhetoric. I try to filter through multiple media sources to get my news, all biases and outlooks, mostly internet news and notifications from apps on my phone.”

Devon Wetter Communications advocacy major, Political communications minor.

“ Personally, I follow Fox news.”

Angie Phrasavath Political science  major, Art history major.

“I don’t think it is as important as later debates are. The first few debates are always caddy and basically the candidates talk in circles. These first few debates are the candidates being able to voice and reflect their views.”

Jill DeCarli Political science major, Public policy and administration minor.

There you have it, the future voters have spoken. Peoples reactions after the debate are sure to cause a shift in the polls. Next we’ll look at Nevada to see how the debate affects its current political stance.

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